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The Innocence Protection Act Of 2004: A Small Step Forward And A Framework For Larger Reforms, Ronald Weich Mar 2005

The Innocence Protection Act Of 2004: A Small Step Forward And A Framework For Larger Reforms, Ronald Weich

All Faculty Scholarship

Passage of the Innocence Protection Act in the closing days of the 108th Congress was a watershed moment. To be sure, the bill that finally became law was a shadow of the more ambitious criminal justice reforms first championed five years earlier by Senator Pat Leahy, Congressman Bill Delahunt and others. But the enactment of legislation designed to strengthen — not weaken — procedural protections for death row inmates was rich in symbolic importance and promise.

Writing in the April 2001 issue of THE CHAMPION (Innocence Protection Act: Death Penalty Reform on the Horizon), I said optimistically: "The criminal justice pendulum may ...


Roper V. Simmons And Our Constitution In International Equipoise, Roger P. Alford Jan 2005

Roper V. Simmons And Our Constitution In International Equipoise, Roger P. Alford

Journal Articles

In Roper v. Simmons, the Court unequivocally affirms the use of comparative constitutionalism to interpret the Eighth Amendment. It does not, however, provide an obvious theoretical basis to justify the practice. This Article searches for a theory to explain the comparativism in Roper using the theories advanced in the author's previous scholarship. It concludes that of the colorable candidates, natural law constitutionalism is the most plausible explanation, with the attendant problems associated therewith. The Article concludes with an analysis of the possible ramifications of the Court's comparative approach, suggesting that it may be pursuing a Constitution that is ...


In Search Of A Theory For Constitutional Comparativism, Roger P. Alford Jan 2005

In Search Of A Theory For Constitutional Comparativism, Roger P. Alford

Journal Articles

Constitutional comparativism - the notion that international and foreign material should be used to interpret the U.S. Constitution - is gaining currency. Yet proponents of this practice rarely offer a firm theoretical justification for the practice. This Article contends that constitutional comparativism should be examined from the perspective of constitutional theory. The use of comparative and international material must be deemed appropriate or inappropriate based on a particular judge's interpretive mode of constitutional analysis. The Article presents four classic constitutional theories - originalism, natural law, majoritarianism, and pragmatism - and addresses the propriety of constitutional comparativism under each theory. This theoretical approach ...


If I Implore You And Order You To Set Me Free, Robert Blecker Jan 2005

If I Implore You And Order You To Set Me Free, Robert Blecker

Articles & Chapters

When Odysseus ordered his men to put wax in their ears, bind him to the mast and keep rowing until they passed the Sirens, no matter what he might later command, and then, in the throes of passion, attempted to countermand his earlier command, there, then, Constitutionalism was born in the West. We are perpetually challenged at rational moments to keep future passions in check, so when the future becomes the present, we can survive it without regret.

This brief essay summarily employs the metaphor to account for constitutional rights, long and fixed senatorial terms, life-time judicial tenure, judicial review ...